Moshi Too: Unreleased Tapes Recorded In Africa 1969-70

BY Barney Wilen & Caroline De Bendern



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Another world premiere from the estate of French jazzman Barney Wilen. A deep journey into the world of his unknown tapes from psychedelic Africa.

80 minutes of previously unreleased recordings from 1969-70, not to be found on the tenor player’s regular “Moshi” album. Dark and trance-like amalgam of Afro blues, acid rock jams, polyphonic rhythms and spiritual jazz influences from the likes of Coltrane or Sanders, mixed with playbacks, noises, ambient sounds, ethnic music and documentary snippets from Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Comes as a 6-Page Digipack CD with booklet and limited 2LP vinyl set in gatefold cover, including new sleeve notes and unseen photos from the collection of Caroline De Bendern, icon of May ’68 and Barney’s wife.

In 1969 and 1970, French jazz saxophonist Barney Wilen (1937-1996) travels through Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Senegal to Dakar with a group of musicians and filmmakers. Once a celebrated bebopper in the Fifties, now, at the end of the Sixites, Barney decides to “drop out”. Aboard a brightly coloured Land Rover is his girlfriend and future wife, Caroline De Bendern, model and icon of the May ’68 Paris riots. Moreover, they packed instruments, amplifiers, tape recorders and camera equipment. The goal is to shoot a 35 mm road movie, financed by funds from the new production company “Zanzibar Productions”. After two years, Barney and Caroline return to Europe without a finished movie. However, there are over 50 tapes in their luggage, capturing music and sounds from different stations of their journey recorded on a Nagra tape recorder with people they met along the way.

Almost all of these “original African recordings” are unreleased until today and now see the light of day under the title Moshi Too. Infected by Pharaoh Sanders and John Coltrane, enthusiastic about jazz-rock and the spontaneous free jazz scene, Barney plays psychedelic desert blues and spiritual Afro Jazz – hypnotic sessions with deep tenor saxophone, funk guitar, bass and drums in a trance-like flow. Occasionally, he works with backing tracks and noise or ambient sounds.

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Barney Wilen & Caroline De Bendern

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Barney Wilen; Caroline De Bendern






Sonorama Records



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